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Subaru of America has introduced the 2018 WRX and WRX STI, each debuting performance, comfort, design and safety enhancements. The new models reach Subaru retailers in spring.
A restyled front fascia WRX and WRX STI shows a sportier attitude, highlighted by a more pronounced grille design, along with a larger lower grille opening, according to Subaru. The WRX Limited and all STI feature redesigned LED Steering Responsive Headlights that help illuminate curves in nighttime driving. For greater versatility, all WRX and STI models now feature new roof rack mounting brackets.
With its 268-hp, 2-liter direct injection turbocharged BOXER engine, Symmetrical All Wheel Drive and Active Torque Vectoring, the rally-bred WRX is a performance and value benchmark in the high-performance AWD sport-compact segment, according to Subaru. The WRX comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission and offers an optional performance automatic transmission, the Sport Lineartronic CVT with manual mode.
The WRX features new front and rear suspension tuning for improved steering stability and ride comfort, while retaining the car’s high cornering performance capability. Subaru significantly enhanced shifter feel for the six-speed manual transmission, with a new synchro design and reduced friction, along with smoother clutch take-up. The WRX electric power steering (EPS) was revised to provide an even smoother, more natural feel, while integrating the steering motor and electronic control unit reduces weight.
A new optional Performance Package for the WRX Premium features Recaro eight-way power seats, red-painted brake calipers and upgraded JURID brake pads, and deletes the moonroof to reduce weight. The standard 18-inch wheels feature a bold new double-spoke design.
A comprehensive handling enhancement for the 2018 STI includes the revised suspension tuning as featured on the WRX, plus a revised DCCD AWD system, significantly upgraded brakes and this model’s first-ever 19-inch wheels. The DCCD system, which previously used a combination of mechanical and electronic center limited slip differential control, now uses electronic control for quicker and smoother response.
The 19-inch alloy wheels feature a striking Y-shaped spoke design and carry 245/35R19 tires that help raise cornering performance while giving the STI an even more aggressive stance.
The yellow-painted brake calipers identify a significantly upgraded Brembo Performance Brake System that now uses stronger monoblock six-piston calipers in front, monoblock two-piston calipers in the rear and larger, drilled rotors all around for better heat dissipation.
New brake pads provide significantly greater surface area for improved braking feel and fade resistance. The STI also offers the Recaro seats (standard on STI Limited, optional for base trim).
Powered by a 305-hp 2.5-liter turbocharged BOXER engine, the WRX STI brings rally-bred performance technology to the road with Multi-Mode Driver Controlled Center Differential (DCCD) Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive. Standard handling technologies include Active Torque Vectoring and Multi-Mode Vehicle Dynamics Control, according to Subaru.
An Inside that Matters
The everyday usability that has contributed to WRX and STI popularity gets even better for 2018, according to Subaru. All models feature upgraded interior materials, rear seat armrest with cup holders, redesigned interior door grips and faster remote trunk opening.
New measures that reduce unwanted noise include thicker door glass, revised door sealing and a foam-filled windshield header beam. A new, larger high-definition multi-function display (5.9-inch vs. 4.3-inch before) makes it easier to see vehicle functions at a glance.
WRX Limited models feature power driver’s seat lumbar adjustment. The standard WRX adds heated exterior mirrors (already standard on others), while the WRX Premium upgrades to a SUBARU STARLINK 7.0-inch multimedia unit from the previous STARLINK 6.2-inch unit.
Subaru revised the front structure of the WRX and WRX STI for enhanced frontal collision performance, according to the company.
The WRX Limited, when equipped with EyeSight Driver Assist Technology now features Vehicle Hold (AVH), and a new EyeSight Assist Monitor (EAM). The EAM uses LED indicators to display EyeSight status and alerts on the windshield, allowing the driver to see them without diverting eyes from the road ahead. The AVH feature replaces the Hill Holder and Hill Start Assist functions and offers greater functionality, holding the vehicle on all road grades, not only inclines.
For example, AVH can help reduce driver fatigue by holding the car at traffic lights, and then can seamlessly transition to acceleration.